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My issues with soccer - Page 2

post #16 of 159
Oooooh.... R10....droool

Sorry, now, about football.
I come from a country that pretty much sports=football. Like Constantinople duringt the middle ages and its chariot race factions, football teams are often more than just that. They bind in to the very fabric of society, including politics, entertainment and culture. To the point where in families you often have fathers and sons continuing their support of a team (like with other sports in the USA, many women could give a rodent's hindquarters about it).
Going from there, I never had a real desire to watch football (I never even been to a game which is pretty much unheard of back home).

The World Cup has something that I find really hard to put my finger on. It really feels like a lot of things stand still and not just in the organising countries. You even find people like myself interested. Because you have high levels of playing, often the best players world wide and in many ways the closest thing to what the Olympics were in the ancient times. Something that if even for a little while gets nations together that may detest each other feeling a little frendlier (witness Turkish fans congratulating and supporting the Greek national team once they had reached the finals of the Euro cup).

I have been to baseball games twice while in the US. I cannot think of anything more boring in my life. And American football is all stop and go, something that is the opposite of a football match which is often more flowing and depending on who is playing, can have constantly changing tempo.

I am finding it really hard to explain all this.

P.s. yes I know what hooliganism is, and I am aware of unsportman-like behaviour and the sort. Does not change what I mentioned above though.
post #17 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Checks
I love me some hockey.

And I like it, the F1, more than the other that Audi, dominates.

Yes, but Americans don't participate in F1...thus ALMS is the fastest sport in NA.

Jon.
post #18 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
Yes, but Americans don't participate in F1...thus ALMS is the fastest sport in NA.

Jon.


But wait! There is Scott Speed now!

Anyone catch Silverstone? He managed to take out three cars including Ralf Schumacher. Who knows, maybe he is the new Takuma Sato (aka the "Combine Harvester").
post #19 of 159
I think it has all comes down to having a team to get behind. And that's largely a geographical thing.

I love baseball. It is without a doubt my favorite sport, but I grew up situated 2 hours from both Boston and NYC... so living amidst that rivalry made it hard not to get caught up in it.

I can't stand hockey for a lot of reasons.

College basketball I love, but I went to a Big Ten college, so again, its hard not to get caught up in it.

Pro basketball I like recently.. but I jumped on the Pistons bandwagon a couple years ago and its been a fun ride ever since.

Football.. not a fan.

Auto racing... anything that races on an oval I couldn't care less about. I really do like the WRC, but I find it hard to follow now that Speed doesn't give it worthwhile coverage.

Soccer.. eh. Uninteresting to me.
post #20 of 159
[Speaking as a variation on the Standard American (I love basketball and American football, but can't stand soccer; the variation here is that baseball doesn't usually do it for me, though I like attending games in person)]

This is my thing with soccer/football: there are no *plays*. There is really very little strategy involved. Any game in which the interceptions can easily outnumber the goals by a factor of, like, 100 over the course of the game leaves no *meaningful* room for strategy. This is also my problem with hockey, by the way, but at least hockey can make up for its shortcomings in blood, right? Everything else I could get used to. The pace? Well, it doesn't help, but as others have mentioned, American football can move very slowly too, with all the commercial breaks and such; and baseball is freaking glacial. The lack of "holy shit!" moments? Alright, this doesn't help either--this is why basketball is my favorite sport--but there are many forms of spectacle, and I can find the chess-like aspect of a sport (strategy, tactics, etc) worth watching even if it tends to lack those spectacular moments of athleticism. The defensive nature of the game? I can watch a great defense in American football and be completely engrossed.

Add to that the fact that there's no compelling social reason to watch soccer/football in America, and you get a giant "who the hell cares?" If I want to see a bunch of guys randomly mill around trying to make passes that constantly get picked off until someone gets lucky, I'll watch a bunch of fourth-graders play basketball. The game feels broken to me, like every game action is a roll of the dice and it's closer to 50% than 80%--I'm going to try to pass to the... oh, no, intercepted. I'm gonna take this shot at the goal... well, I guess that's why they have a goalie.
post #21 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saucemaster
...there are no *plays*...This is also my problem with hockey, by the way, but at least hockey can make up for its shortcomings in blood, right?
Not to veer too terribly far off-topic, but there are plays in hockey, although many "” if not most "” fans don't realize it. I attach link to USA Hockey magazine's Coach's Playbook section as illustration:

http://www.usahockeymagazine.com/sto...ght_nav=normal
post #22 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saucemaster

This is my thing with soccer/football: there are no *plays*. There is really very little strategy involved. Any game in which the interceptions can easily outnumber the goals by a factor of, like, 100 over the course of the game leaves no *meaningful* room for strategy. This is also my problem with hockey, by the way, but at least hockey can make up for its shortcomings in blood, right? Everything else I could get used to...

[edit]

...If I want to see a bunch of guys randomly mill around trying to make passes that constantly get picked off until someone gets lucky, I'll watch a bunch of fourth-graders play basketball....


So, so true. For me, watching soccer or hockey is as compelling as watching a game of foosball.
post #23 of 159
Thread Starter 
I can't stand the fact that a 15-point lead in basketball means nothing, and that the last two minutes can take half an hour to play.

Hockey is the finest sport ever invented, and I weep for those who do not know this.
post #24 of 159
If, by plays, you mean strategic formations and the like, there is such a thing in football. This can be something critical to succesful matches. You will often see formations changing at different times to take advantage of the score (say switching to a strong defensive formation if it is close to the end of the game and the score is in the team's favour). Look here for some examples http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?...oldid=58211141 Edit: I think part of the confusion for American viewers with football's perceived lack of strategy is due to the fact that the field is smaller in american football and the game stops a lot - lets you see the formation more easily than with footy...
post #25 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by skalogre
If, by plays, you mean strategic formations and the like, there is such a thing in football. This can be something critical to succesful matches. You will often see formations changing at different times to take advantage of the score (say switching to a strong defensive formation if it is close to the end of the game and the score is in the team's favour). Look here for some examples http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?...oldid=58211141
But that's about all there is, though. I mean, there's strategy in blackjack, too, but it only makes its presence felt slowly, over the course of many hands. My problem with football (soccer) is that it's closer to blackjack than poker. I know there's some strategy in soccer, but it's not of the depth that I grew up with. American football can be slow and has too many commercial breaks, but it's almost a chess match out there sometimes. Basketball veers much closer to the soccer/football end of things, but it's faster, interceptions are fairly rare, and there are still set plays and such--the chance element mostly comes in the actual shooting itself.
Quote:
I think part of the confusion for American viewers with football's perceived lack of strategy is due to the fact that the field is smaller in american football and the game stops a lot - lets you see the formation more easily than with footy...
It's also that play in American football isn't continuous, which is to say, not only is there time to see the next play being called/develop, but each side has a chance to completely alter their tactics and formulate a coherent plan on each and every play--whereas with soccer (and hockey), there is no reset between plays. It's a big, chaotic mass out of which order occasionally forms. I've given football a chance a few times--basically every time the World Cup is on--and I've even had European and South American friends berate me for my lack of interest, but I just can't get into it. I understand that it takes a lot of athleticism, and I understand that it's the world's most popular sport, but it just ain't my thing....
post #26 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Checks
I realize I'm missing most/all of the subtle points that make enthusiasts love the sport.

Agreed. However, I have another one: the ball should be made oblong. I mean come on, anyone can kick a round ball. Right?
post #27 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saucemaster
I've given football a chance a few times--basically every time the World Cup is on--and I've even had European and South American friends berate me for my lack of interest, but I just can't get into it. I understand that it takes a lot of athleticism, and I understand that it's the world's most popular sport, but it just ain't my thing....
Actually, I'd say the World Cup probably isn't the best introduction to football.

The national sides don't play often enough for the players to be sufficiently familiar with each other - witness the mess that is England, sigh - and the fact that your pool of players is limited to your country means that it's not easy getting a well-balanced team.

On the tactical front, club sides do have their own systems/formations that the players get used to playing in, and this is not always the same as that in the national side, so more confusion.

The result is that national sides often play (relatively) poorly, and is why it's often said that the top club sides are superior to many of the national ones. You should try following the English or Spanish leagues if possible, and watch the better teams play - I think you'll find these games more entertaining.
post #28 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by skalogre
I have been to baseball games twice while in the US. I cannot think of anything more boring in my life. And American football is all stop and go, something that is the opposite of a football match which is often more flowing and depending on who is playing, can have constantl cyhanging tempo.
Ditto that. Being raised in Europe and now, living in the states, I cannot describe how "non fluent" a baseball game appears to the newbie viewer. For example: baseball players stand for long minutes without a move. The game stops every 10-15 seconds. A pitch, one bat, and….stop again. Then, the annual world cup….What world cup? Two east coast teams are "THE WORLD"??? Then the so called "(American) football": Q: what percentage of this (complicated) game is actually played by or with feet? The ball is mostly held in the arms of an alien ...lol The current world cup in Germany: The US national team participates at the games. Yet, US news coverage is mostly limited to about 10 sec (!). I visited Africa and people from countries which did not make to the world cup are glued to the TV. It's the whole world: Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia. The biggest sporting event. Everyone interested, except... US. Today, NBC news showed - for the 1000 time – a retake of the Stanley Cup and then the real scoop: "Mo. student wins yodeling competition"… However, the boredom record goes to golf. The most static game ever invented. Yet, there are (free) TV channels, dedicated to golf. 24/7 golf. From today and from yesteryear. Broadcasting again same old tournaments.. But, no more then 10 sec for the biggest sport event, around a game named soccer, succer, whatever… Strange.
post #29 of 159
Soccer is the best cure for insomnia ever invented.

These words uttered by a (very) ugly American.
post #30 of 159
Incidentely, I just read this after writing my post:
http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news?slu...v=ap&type=lgns
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